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Monday, December 26, 2005

Summer's treat for gourmets

The Mercury: Summer's treat for gourmets [27dec05]

HE premier event of Hobart's Summer Festival kicks off tomorrow with the start of the Taste of Tasmania.

The Taste is a chance for Tasmania's restaurants and cafes, wineries and breweries to show off the best of their wares.

Complementing them will be entertainment for all tastes, from music to international street performers to wannabe rock stars competing in the air guitar competition.

Today will see 70 stall holders feverishly working in the Princes Wharf shed, turning it into a food lover's paradise.

Work has been under way since the beginning of the month to get the shed ready, with electrical fittings, gas and hot water facilities and waste water treatment systems all going into place.

Each year there are almost 200,000 visits made to the Taste.

Last year saw 38.4 tonnes of glass, 5.5 tonnes of cardboard and three tonnes of cooking oil recycled.

One of the new features at this year's Taste is the Gourmet Taste.

Four stalls will bear the Gourmet brand for their promotion of innovation in the use and preparation of Tasmanian produce.

There are also 12 new stalls featuring tasty treats such as wine, Asian vegetarian dishes, African food and seafood presented in new ways.

Outside the shed, Taste-goers will be entertained by street performers from around the world.

The Taste opens officially with the male and female winners of the Hartz Race to the Taste cutting the ribbon with Lord Mayor Rob Valentine and Alderman Eric Hayes.

Last year 226 runners took part in the 6km run from the Domain to Princes Wharf.

The Taste runs from tomorrow to January 3.

Gates open every day at 11am and close at 11pm except on December 31, when they close at 3.45pm for a ticketed New Year's Eve bash.

The Taste is a smoke-free zone except for designated areas.


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